Monthly Archives: December 2008

>Using Linux………A Year Later!

>A little over a year ago, I had decided that I needed a new computer, and that I was going to build it (with lots of help from friends). At this same time I made the gigantic decision to change my operating system also. At this time I had chosen Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon.

I had made this decision based on my utter hatred for all things Microsoft and my frustration with the high cost of software overall. Ubuntu is a Linux distribution and the operation system is open source (meaning free). I had been assured by other people that at this point this particular operating system was pretty user friendly. And by user friendly I mean, someone who knows a bit about computers and has lots of patients to learn.

Well I built this computer, and had problems from the start. First of all the Raid card which was installed to allow for additional hard drives would not be recognize by the system. The dual monitor system which I really enjoyed on my Windows system would not work! And the TV card would not operate and I could never get the network printer up and running either. However, I still wanted this system, and I felt I could learn to live with the inconveniences over time. I kept the system and used it as my daily operating system. It was not easy, I soon missed many of the “Windows” application that I had used over the course of many years and it seemed many of the neat software applications and web applications were made for Windows only. Also there was my complete lack of knowledge of the system which meant many mistakes over and over and over.

It always seemed to me that everything that seemed so easy to do on Windows was much more difficult on Ubuntu (Linux). I could not run my work programs either which meant not working at home and staying late at the office many nights.

It also seemed that my lack of knowledge always lead me to crashing the system or completely messing it up and then I had to reinstall the whole thing. And reinstall and reinstall……… I became and expert at installing the operating system.

….But slowly I began to learn. Actually finding the answers to my questions and problems was really easy, a quick Google search and typically there it was. Of course it meant learning to input these answers into the Terminal (direct command input in text format), which I am really still learning. I began to understand that the Terminal was actually easier than the graphical environment for doing many things and pretty powerful (this had lead me to reinstall my system many times).

I also began to learn about the software repository, a way to easily access hundreds of free programs to do almost any task you can think of. Also I had to learn to install software using the source code and debian files. A little difficult at first but then the answers are always out there (more readily than answers to Windows problems).

I started to like the system very much, and when the next release 8.04 came out I gave it a try and was disappointed. I found that it was a little more difficult to configure and there was a couple of problems that I could not fix….. and the dual monitor and the raid card still did not work……so I went back to 7.10 and was pretty happy with it, much happier than with Windows. I occasionally had problems which would required a reinstall, however the benefits outweighed this inconvenience.

Now the very latest release 8.10 Intrepid Ibex had been made available, so I gave it a whirl………..and right from boot up, the Raid was working and the Dual monitor system, and the network printer practically configured itself, it also saw the network and many of the other little bugs had been worked out. And since using I started using the system I have also learned how to remotely access my work computer so that I can work at home. This latest version seems to be very user friendly, almost to the point of recommending it to people who have some computer knowledge but not a whole lot.

I guess the point of this post is that I have switched from Windows to Linux and I am happy with the change. So it might be time for you to try the switch and get that Windows monkey off your back. I did and am glad of it.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 3, 2008 in Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: